Casa Honore, Marseille
While Paris might be the more typical cross-channel romantic getaway for Valentines Day, were opting to hop off the Eurostar onto a connecting train right down to Marseille. Here, tucked away in the old town, and surrounded by its sultry southern vibes and honey-coloured rooftops sloping down towards the sea, is one of the most affordably romantic hotels around, Casa Honore. A former print works, it's got just a handful of rooms to go with a couple of comfy lounge areas overflowing with well-chosen antiques.
Where to go for a romantic drink: Marseille is home to a fabulous bar scene with hundreds of tiny speakeasies hidden away down narrow streets. One of our favourites is the quirky La Part Des Ange (33, Rue Sainte, 13001; +33 491 33 55 70), where you can pull up a stool along the bar and sample a range of vintage local wines.
How to get there: Take the Eurostar (eurostar.com) from St Pancras International to Paris and change onto one of the regular connecting trains to Marseille St Charles.
Read our full review of Casa Honore
Hotel Aldstadt, Vienna
Vienna often gets overlooked as one of Europes most romantic cities. But it really shouldnt be, and heres why: its rich history, beautiful Romanesque and Baroque architecture and countless cosy coffee houses lend themselves perfectly to hand-in-hand strolls round the (if youre lucky...) snowy streets. Chic well-appointed places to stay that don't cost the earth, it's not so hot on, however. Which is where Hotel Aldstadt comes in: located just a stone's throw from the cobbled lanes of Spittleberg and the Ringstrasse, it feels like stepping into your own seriously stylish Viennese apartment.
Where to go for a romantic drink in Vienna: For a thoroughly romantic start to the weekend you can take evening boat trips along the Danube and sip gluhwein along the way. Or, take a trip to the elegant Vienna State Opera House (Operngasse 28/7, 1040 Vienna; Tel: 00 43 18 901 704) where even if the opera or ballet aren't quite your thing, is the perfect place for an atmospheric drink in the city.
How to get there: Austrian Airlines (Austrian.com) and British Airways (britishairways.com) fly to Viennas Schwechat airport. For budget airlines, Ryanair (ryanair.com) flies to Bratislava, a picturesque hours train ride away.
Read our full review of Hotel Aldstadt
Schlosshotel im Grunewald, Berlin
Ok, so Berlin might not seem like your typical romantic weekend away, but it is a pretty, damn cool city and a definite ELLEuk favourite for its finger-on-the-pulse creativity, wall-to-wall sleek architecture and downright quirky selection of things to do. It is Valentines Day, though, and if youre after a little old-fashioned, romance then Schlosshotel im Grunewald is certainly the spot. The elegant hotel is located a short distance from the city centre within the impressive Grunewald forest and offers elegant bedrooms, a palatial restaurant and a very grand bar complete with crackling wood fire. We cant think of a better place to be with our beau.
Where to go for a romantic drink in Berlin: The wonderful Tadschikische Teestube in the Palais am Festungsgraben dates right back to Soviet times and offers over 25 varieties of tea and Russian snacks. The perfect place to hide out from the cold, sit back on low cushions and soak up the atmosphere. (Am Festungsgraben 1, 10117, Berlin.)
How to get there: Ryanair (ryanair.com) and Easyjet (easyjet.com) run regular flights to Berlins Tegel airport and Schonefeld Airport. The hotel is located just 5km from the Zoologischer Garten train station.
Sumaham on the Water, Istanbul
A cruise along the Bosphorus to the gorgeous Sumahan on the Water takes you past imperial palaces and minaret towers shimmering in the sunset and really sets the tone for a wonderfully romantic weekend. A former 19th-century waterfront raki factory converted into a hotel of sleek metal, calming interiors, a good restaurant and a small but perfectly formed spa, its ideal for a cosy February evening sitting by an inviting open fire and looking out over the water.
Where to go for a romantic drink in Istanbul: Just a short stroll from the hotel is the fishing village of Cengelkoy. Its home to a raft of tiny and very typical cafes that serve rich Turkish coffee accompanied by sweet baklava against a backdrop of the Bosphorus bridge.
How to get there: There are regular and reasonably priced flights from London to Istanbul. Once on the ground, if you really want to arrive at the hotel in style you can take its private boat, Sumahan 1, which runs guests into Kabatas twice in the morning and then again in the evening.
Linthwaite House, Lake District
There arent too many places in the UK that do romantic hotel breaks quite like the Lake District. Right at its heart is Linthwaite House, with 14 acres of grounds, awe-inspiring views of Lake Windermere and the surrounding fells, and some serious luxury in its 31 bedrooms. Best of all, though, theyve got a not-too-shabby 30% off all bookings in February. What more could you need?
Where to go for a romantic drink in the Lake District: You cant walk more than a couple of steps up in the Lake District without finding yourself in some ye olde English pub or other. One of the more attractive options for a cosy winters afternoon, though, is the Drunken Duck in Ambleside with its award-winning locally brewed ales and wonderfully remote location. (Barngates, Ambleside, Cumbria ; 01539 436347).
How to get there: Trains run regularly from London to Windermere, from where Linthwaite House is just a 10-minute taxi drive. That said, youre probably best off taking a car up in order to properly explore the area.